Nurses routinely face treatment issues for individuals with alcohol and drug-related health problems, and have an important stake in improving treatment. The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)* undertook the National Treatment Plan Initiative (NTP) in 1998 to provide an opportunity for the field to reach a working consensus on how best to improve substance abuse treatment, and then to pursue action to effect needed change. The NTP initiative was overseen by senior members of the CSAT staff, members of the CSAT National Advisory Council, and a steering group that included senior members of the treatment field. Starting from a recognition that substance abuse and dependence is a public health issue and a treatable illness for which individuals deserve treatment, five expert panels, made up of both government and outside experts in the alcohol and drug treatment and allied fields, as well as consumer representatives, were formed to explore problems and develop recommendations. To enhance the work of these panels, CSAT sponsored public hearings across the nation to solicit the experiences and ideas from the larger community. Through this open and collaborative process, participants set a direction and proposed actions to implement a National Treatment Plan to improve substance abuse treatment. NTP recommendations build from five main guidelines: 1) investing for results, 2) no “wrong door” to treatment, 3) committing to quality, 4) changing attitudes, and 5) building partnerships. This article further describes the recommendations and the NTP process.